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## 6.7.2 Adaptive Multiscale Scheme on a Multicomputer

First, a Gaussian pyramid  [Burt:84a] is computed from the given images. This consists of a hierarchy of images obtained filtering the original ones with Gaussian filters of progressively larger size.

Then, the optical flow field is computed at the coarsest scale using relaxation, and the estimated error is calculated for every pixel. If this quantity is less than a given threshold , the current value of the flow is interpolated to the finer resolutions without further processing. This is done by setting an inhibition flag contained in the grid points of the pyramidal structure, so that these points do not participate in the relaxation process. On the contrary, if the error is larger than , the approximation is relaxed on a finer scale and the entire process is repeated until the finest scale is reached.

Figure 6.39: Adaptive Grid (shown on left) in the Multiresolution Pyramid; (middle) Gray Code Mapping Strategy; (right) Domain Decomposition Mapping Strategy. In the middle and right pictures, the activity pattern for three resolutions is shown at the top, for a simple one-dimensional case.

In this way, we obtain a local inhomogeneous approach where areas of the images, characterized by different spatial frequencies or by different motion amplitudes, are processed at the appropriate resolutions, avoiding corruption of good estimates by inconsistent information from a different scale (the effect shown in the previous example). The optimal grid structure for a given image is translated into a pattern of active and inhibited grid points in the pyramid,  as illustrated in Figure 6.39.

Figure 6.40: Efficiency and Solution Times

The motivation for freezing the motion field as soon as the error is below threshold, is that the estimation of the error may itself become incorrect at finer scales and, therefore, useless in the decision process. It is important to point out that single-scale or homogeneous approaches cannot adequately solve the above problem. Intuitively, what happens in the adaptive multiscale approach is that the velocity is frozen as soon as the spatial and temporal differences at a given scale are big enough to avoid quantization errors, but small enough to avoid errors in the use of discretized formulas. The only assumption made in this scheme is that the largest motion in the scene can be reliably computed at one of the used resolutions. If the images contain motion discontinuities, line processes  (indicating the presence of these discontinuities) are necessary to prevent smoothing where it is not desired (see [Battiti:90a] and the contained references).

Figure 6.41: Plaid Image (top); The Error in Calculation of Optical Flow for both Homogeneous (Upper-line) and Adaptive (Lower-line) Algorithms. The error is plotted as a function of computation time.

Figure: Reconstructed Optical Flow for Translating ``Plaid'' Pattern of Figure 6.41. Homogeneous Multiscale Strategy (top), Adaptive Multiscale Strategy (middle), and Active (black) and Inhibited (white) Points

Figure 6.43: Test Images and Motion Fields for a Natural (pine-cone) Image at Three Resolutions (top). Estimated versus Actual Velocity Plotted for Three Choices of Resolution (bottom). The dotted line indicates a ``perfect'' prediction.

Large grain-size multicomputers, with a mapping based on domain decomposition and limited coarsening, have been used to implement the adaptive algorithm, as described in Section 6.5. The efficiency and solution times for an implementation with transputers  (details in [Battiti:91a]) are shown in Figure 6.40.

Real-time computation with high efficiency is within the reach of available digital technology!

On a board with four transputers, and using the Express communication routines from ParaSoft, the solution time for images is on the order of one second.

The software implementation is based on the multiscale vision environment developed by Roberto Battiti and described in Section 9.9. Christof Koch and Edoardo Amaldi collaborated on the project.

Next: 6.7.3 Conclusions Up: An Adaptive Multiscale Previous: 6.7.1 Errors in Computing

Guy Robinson
Wed Mar 1 10:19:35 EST 1995